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A really bad situation

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Today I found out from my mom that my grandmother has 6 months to 2 years to live. The doctor said she was showing every sign of dieing. Her upper part of her heart which supplies blood to the brain kidneys and some other parts is working about 40%. She lost over 59 lbs in a year and she still wont eat. She will sneak her foor to the dogs and make up excueses not ot eat. Im scared fro the fact that I had alwasys told my self that she will live for ever. My grandpa died in Jan. 1999. I couldnt cope with his death so I shut my self out from the world. Cut of all my emotions off and just was dead inside. I know I will be the same. Dead. I was always told to be strong and well the only way I could think of that was to become emotionless. have pretty much succeded in doing so. I just cant come to reality that my grandmother is passing away.

post #2 of 18
So sorry Ashley, my thoughts and prayers with you....
post #3 of 18
Ashley, I can understand how you feel, but please save your mourning for after the actual fact, and just try to treasure the remaining time you have with your grandmother. Spend time with her, and do things together you'll have fond memories of later.
post #4 of 18

I rescently lost my Grandmother,so I know how it feals.

My thouts and prayers are with you.
post #5 of 18
Ashley, Tricia has said it well--live in the moment and cherish your time with you grandmother. to you.
post #6 of 18
Aww, dont be sad, I never had the opportunity to know my grandparents so thats one of the things i always dread that i never got to know them
BUt you are lucky to know someone who is so special in your life.
Sometimes doctors make it wrong, and patients end up living for more than expected.
post #7 of 18
Originally posted by Fwan
Sometimes doctors make it wrong, and patients end up living for more than expected.
I agree completely, after all doctors are human too, and sometimes they can initially misdiagnosis a patient's condition.

This is just my opinion, but another thing is that if a patient is willing to make major lifestyle changes, it can extend their life for longer than expected too.

I'm sending prayers and special vibes to your grandma and the rest of the family.
post #8 of 18
Oh Ashley,

I am so sorry to hear your news about your grandmother. What an unhappy shock this must be for you right now, and I can really hear how frightened you are by all of this.

It is okay to feel frightened. It is ok to cry and to be upset about what is happening. These are "Big" things, and they are never easy for anyone to face.

You are worried about how to deal with all of this right now. That is not surprising. When your grandfather died you didn't want to feel the pain of his loss, and that too is so normal! Many people 'deaden' their emotions after a loss like that. You're right, it is so much easier to deal with pain if you don't have to feel it right away. The human spirit is very resiliant, though. As you begin to recover from the shock of losing your loved one, you begin to feel a little bit more and more each day until one day the sadness will come back but it won't be that horrible big sadness that you can't deal with. It will be just big enough that you will cry and mourn and deal with it all. Then you can start to heal. It can take 2 years or more for that to happen. It sounds like when your grandfather passed away you were quite young, and that is even more overwhelming.

I do see two good things in your news that I would like to share with you. One, I have to chuckle that your Grandmother, who should be eating her meals herself, still 'sneaks' food to her dogs. That is so cute:-). They obviously mean a lot to her and this is one way she has of showing them that she loves them. I am sure she feels very empowered when she is able to give her meals to the dogs - kind of like a way of being rebellious when everyone is trying to take control away from her. She is saying, I am still in control:-). I wouldn't chide her on that. Maybe you can even become a co-conspirator with her and both of you can 'sneak' food to the dogs. You may find her more willing to eat along with you that way.:-)

The other good thing is that you have learned that you still have some time to spend with your grandmother. How much worse would it be to hear she had died without any warning, without a chance to get used to the knowledge, without a chance to say goodbye and without a chance to share with her the things you want her to know and that you want to know about her. I know it doesn't seem like a long time, but you will be surprised at how much you can do even in a short period of time.

One of the best gifts you can give to your grandmother right now is to share whatever time she has left with her. If her health is this poor, I am sure she is not feeling very good and is often quite tired. She is probably feeling worried too, and I suspect she may be more worried about you and the other family members than about herself. She is probably concerned about what will happen to her dogs. This is a time to listen to her. Ask her if there is anything you can do for her, like walking her dogs for her, or running errands, or things like that, to show you you care and you understand.

Being able to accept that someone you love is dying is a very difficult thing to do, but it is also a very powerful one. They are the one facing death. We are the ones facing their loss - and not only does it hurt, it can be scary. Sometimes facing the things we fear can give you whatever strength you need to deal with the situation.

Take this time to get to know your grandmother even better than you do - not just as your grandmother, but as the woman she was during her life. You have this opportunity, and you know you will have a little bit of time. She may be happy to have someone who wants to 'know' the real her and who can remember the person after she has gone.

It will still hurt like crazy when the time does come. Don't worry about facing her death right now because there will be time enough when it happens. Instead, take the time right now to face her 'living', and you may be surprised at how strong you will be when the time comes. Don't be afraid of your tears, either. They too are a gift that shows to you and to her and everyone else that you know what it feels like to love.

My heart and prayers are with you and your grandmother right now. Take care of yourself and remember, it is alright to feel so sad.

post #9 of 18
Originally Posted by fwan
and patients end up living for more than expected.
We thought each Christmas for almost 10 years was going to be the last we'd have with my great-grandmother.
Boy, did she fool us!!
post #10 of 18
I'm sorry Ashley. Why don't you speak to your grandmother about it? You will make it through. I'm sure you can. Sending prayers your way
post #11 of 18
Ashley, I am so sorry you had to get this news...especially this close to Christmas. Kathryn said everything perfectly. Just make this the best Christmas ever...celebrate life with your grandmother, and plan on topping it next year.

About her not eating. Do you know what her favorite dessert is? If her diet allows it, make it for her, and share it with her. Or, see what she can eat that she likes...and eat it with her. When my mom was sick, she wouldn't eat unless I ate with her. And, some nights we just gorged...and talked and laughed and shared. Those nights are tresured memories. Maybe that is why she is feeding the dogs her food...she doesn't want to eat alone.

Just spend as much quality time with her as possible, and cherish every minute. It will be hard sometimes....painful....and, I'm like you. I shut down emotionally too when the doctors told me they were going to make mom "comfortable". But, I had 14 more months with her...and the memories are so precious, now.

It is a shock when the people we relied on for all our lives aren't there anymore...and sometimes all we can do at first is go "numb"...not feel...there isn't anything wrong with that. Just remember, you survived your grandfather's passing, and you are stronger now because of it...whether you realize it now or not.

I don't know if anything I've said has helped...I've basically been rambling...but, I can relate to how you're feeling. My thoughts are with you and your grandmother.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
My grandmother was never told that she was dieing. Thats the hardest part yet. She has been going down hill since her husband passed. She has slowly gotten worse month by month.

post #13 of 18
Yes, do spend time with her. Ask her about her past and memories of growing up. As someone doing genealogy, I wish I had asked questions of my grandparents about them and their parents. Maybe she will share memories she hasn't thought of in years.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by gemlady
Ask her about her past and memories of growing up.
That is not easy. She can't remember much now. She has the (cant spell it ) Alstimers dieseas so her memory and mind are out of it.

post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by jcat
Ashley, I can understand how you feel, but please save your mourning for after the actual fact, and just try to treasure the remaining time you have with your grandmother. Spend time with her, and do things together you'll have fond memories of later.
Very well said.

Ashley, my thoughts are with you and your family.
post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by gemlady
Ask her about her past and memories of growing up.
Ashley, I work in a nursing home and I'm familiar with the problems of the elderly. Sometimes these people have a lot of problems with their short term memory and can't remember anything that happened only a few minutes earlier; don't know where they are and etc. Often, these same people can remember things that happened 50 or 60 years ago in great detail, and they tell such interesting stories about the past. So I think it would really be worth it for you to follow gemlady's suggestion and try asking your grandma about her past. If you're lucky, she'll have a lot of good stories to tell you.
post #17 of 18
I'm sorry. That's really hard to deal with. To know that someone you love very much is on their way out of life.

I knew my mom was going to pass away before she did. I knew for a little while, the Doctors wouldn't give us any kind of estimation. So we took it day by day.

Do your best to be there, and enjoy all the time that you can, make as many positive memories right now while you can, so that they can help you through the sadness.

My grandma, my last grandma passed away suddenly in May this year. My other grandma Dec. 27th last year. It really hurt to see them both go. My grandma that passed first was reunited with her husband. That made me feel so good to know that. My other grandma... She joined a son. I'm glad that they were reunited. I tried to focus on what THEY were gaining, not what I was loosing. If only I could have done that with my mom.

Hang in there. Try not to think about it. Try to enjoy what time you have with her.
post #18 of 18
Originally Posted by MyRage
I tried to focus on what THEY were gaining, not what I was loosing. )
What a wonderful perspective. Thank you for giving a truly compassionate way of dealing with a loved one's death.

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